Garage Organizing

Today we have a special guest - a recent transplant to Seattle and a fabulous organizer that I've been happy to get to know a little better over much-too-infrequent coffee dates - Annie of Live Simply! I asked her to share some of her favorite tips for organizing a garage. This is unchartered design territory for me, but you'll get to see my Re-Energized By Design garage on Wednesday! For now, here are Annie's smart suggestions. Hi M.R. readers! Today I’m delighted to be stopping by with five tips for how to organize your garage. Let’s get cracking:

1. De-clutter

In order to have a functional garage space, you must streamline what you’re storing within. Often, people will delay decisions about various items by saying, “I’ll just put it in the garage for now.” This can lead to massive clutter that ultimately obstructs the cars for which the garage was intended to accommodate.

It is essential that you cease from regarding the garage as the fallback landing spot for any and all items you don’t really want to deal with. Take a day or two to edit your garage contents and clear out those things that you no longer need, and that are just taking up precious space.

Once you’ve done so, commit yourself to a no-clutter rule in the garage.



2. Be Intentional

Before you go purchasing any garage storage products, think about what kinds of things you need to accommodate, and the storage method that you believe will work best for you. (I recently proposed to a client that she hang her family’s bikes on a wall track system—she explained that she was only 5 feet, and that lifting the bikes down would prove to be difficult. Fair enough; we opted for a more traditional bike rack). Take time to think about how your garage space can nurture your lifestyle and make your life easier rather than more stressful.



3. Open Shelves and Storage Bins

These are a magical combination in the garage. Shelving units are easily procured and assembled, and can accommodate any number of items. Using plastic bins will allow you to keep like items together and protect them from the elements.

Store things like holiday decorations, camping gear, ski equipment, as well as household supplies like light bulbs, batteries, and Ziploc bags in clear storage bins and label them clearly with the boxes’ contents.

Situate storage bins strategically on shelves, giving priority to the items you use most frequently, and storing lesser-used items on less accessible shelves.



4. Wall track system

These can range from the traditional peg-board option to the more recent wall paneling systems, from which you can suspend hooks, wire baskets, even shelves and cabinets. Use these to keep tools like brooms, rakes, shovels, and garden hoses, as well as things like bicycles and car seats off of the ground and in good order.



5. Workbench

These are an optimal solution for gardeners and handymen, alike. They provide both a storage space and a working surface, and can be customized to fit your needs.



Hopefully those five tips will help you whip your garage into shape. Many thanks to Miss Maggie for having me, and for more organizing pointers be sure to visit!

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10